“I briefly dated a girl called Genevieve when I was 19, who had two defining qualities. One: she’d learned how to snog from books, so would simply lie absolutely still, eyes closed and her mouth wide open, waiting. And two: she’d ‘promised’ herself she’d never ever shave. Her pubes were already growing across the top of her thighs. I think the madness was hereditary, mind. Her mum was a French hippy who served me her ‘special’ coffee the first time I visited. It was made with her own breast milk.” G H Albin, via e-mail